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Female Porn Stars Are Happy, Healthy, Sex Researchers Say

Female Porn Stars Are Happy, Healthy, Sex Researchers Say
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Nov 26, 2012 9:15 AM PST    Text size: 

WHITEHALL, PA — Female porn stars are psychologically happy and healthy according to a recent report published by the Journal of Sex Research.

Dispelling common perceptions of female adult stars as being “damaged goods” and having low self-esteem, the study conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania's Shippensburg University, Texas Woman’s University and Sharon Mitchell of the now defunct Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation STD testing, instead found that porn stars like themselves, have better body image views and are more spiritual.

The report culled data from 177 female adult performers, ages 18-50, with an average career in the industry of 3.5 years and all of who have been paid to appear in at least one hardcore film. More than one-third were either married or in a serious relationship, and 44 percent were single. The sample was matched to similar groups of women not in the adult industry.

Labels usually associated with porn stars including drug abuse, homelessness, poverty, desperation and being victims of sexual abuse — especially as children — were unfounded according to the report.  In fact, the results show no statistically significant difference regarding sexual abuse between the two groups of women.

"Stereotypes of those involved in adult entertainment have been used to support or condemn the industry and to justify political views on pornography, although the actual characteristics of actresses are unknown because no study on this group of women has been conducted," the report said.

On a lighter note, the report said porn stars have more energy and sleep better. And nearly 70 percent love to have sex compared to only 33 percent of non-porn star women. What’s no surprise, adult stars started to have sex earlier than the norm — at 15 years old as compared to 17.

Of course, there was a dark side to the findings. The researchers found that sex workers abuse drugs and alcohol, a product of what they called “sensations-seeking” personalities.

Cynthia Graham, senior lecturer in health psychology at Southampton University, told England’s The Independent, "This study really challenges views about women who engage in sex work and the porn industry. Although the study had limitations, it is one of very few that has included matched controls."

But feminist Dawn Foster had a different take on the findings. She said, "It is dangerous to generalize about a huge industry: women who are successful and in control of their careers in one pocket don't speak for women in the less scrutinized parts. The study's main objective seems to be to prove that not all women in porn are exploited: no one has argued that. But glossing over the exploitative aspects helps no one.”

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